Hatoyama Becomes Japan’s New Prime Minister

Japan’s parliament has elected former opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama as the country’s new prime minister.

In a landslide victory last month, Mr. Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan won 308 of the 480 seats in parliament’s lower chamber – ending more than 50 years of rule by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party.

On Wednesday, the lower house of Japan’s parliament held a special session to formally elect the country’s new leader. Mr. Hatoyama has promised to cut government waste and reinvigorate the world’s second-largest economy.

Mr. Hatoyama campaigned on promises of sweeping change, including a more family-friendly and less pro-business government.  He has also said Japanese foreign policy will shift away from U.S. influence.

Mr. Hatoyama’s first job as prime minister will be to appoint a new Cabinet.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters